Litha…Party Of Two

The rest of MoonShadow Coven’s members had other obligations and that was okay. Usually, I would host my annual Mid-Summer Faerie Ball, but this year I just kept putting off working on the details until it was no longer feasible to put it all together and pull it off in the flawless fashion that I demand of myself. When Sarinea commented that if I really wanted to host this bash, I’d have had the menu planned months ago, I realized that calling it off was a wise choice. It was going to be a much quieter Litha.

Dianthus had no other plans  and still wanted to come to Madison so she arrived Saturday morning. After a round of hugs and a trip to the guest room we made our way to my favorite Asian buffet and sushi bar with my husband, Randy in tow. The only other stop was going to a thrift store that we like, due to its nicely organized stock of really interesting items. It’s run by Lutherans, and for some reason they seem to have a knack for parting with some very unique knicks.

We played a game of ‘what the hell is that’ with an elderly lady in a brightly colored head wrap and kept her entertained with our old married couple banter. I picked up something that appeared to be a twelve inch tube of fabric stuffed with beans that had a loop on both ends. “What’s this thing…a husband beater?” The lady could be heard laughing two aisles over. “I gotta see this”, she said as she rounded the corner. My husband took it away from me, partially to keep me from using it and also to demonstrate what it actually was. He draped it around the back of his neck and said, “you put it in the microwave to heat it up and then put it on your sore neck”. By then, I was off to the next moment of discovery. Dianthus found a framed print for her kitchen and some stone finished coasters and we left empty handed, deciding there was nothing we couldn’t live without.

Back at the house, I poured myself an ice cold cucumber infused vodka martini while Di opted for her flavored water as we found ourselves on the deck to see if we’d become mosquito bait.  We slapped ourselves senseless for a bit, but for some reason the pests soon Magically hummed off.  We talked about our radio show, Hocus Focus,and gardening, birds, spiritually and more gardening as the birds, ground squirrels and rabbits played and ate in the yard below.

Di had requested the recipe for my mother’s famous carrot cake and I agreed to give it to her with the stipulation that she never defile it with frosting. The cake is so heavy and rich that topping it with the ubiquitous cream cheese goop would be both an abomination and render it inedible like when they have to douse an already sweet desert with sticky syrup. I get a toothache just thinking about it. This cake is dusted with powdered sugar and that’s sufficient as well as simple and elegant. As a surprise, I made the cake so Di could eat her fill and take what was left home to her husband. In addition, I also made some pastel colored sugar cookies…it’s a well known fact that Faeries love sweet things…and so do we.

Two cookies and a piece of cake later we made our way to my inner sanctum, affectionately known as my ‘broom closet’ to listen to a couple of our shows that are now in archives. It’s always fun to do that when they’re not as fresh in our minds because we can critique them with the same mindset as hearing what our audience hears. We like what we hear. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moonshadow92/2014/05/25/hocus-focus-radio-topic-table-talk-and-divination

The mosquitos were beyond the practice round launched earlier on the deck and were now forming battle lines like Celtic warriors and we had no desire to meet them head on so our plans for a bonfire were scrapped in favor of calling it a night. Di wanted to get an early start for home Sunday morning so plans for hitting a local breakfast buffet were also amended to coffee and a few more cookies.  Tentative plans were made for me to head up north to record more shows since they flow better when we’re all together as opposed to using Skype. More hugs and she was heading down the road while I settled in a chair to savor the experience.

Sometimes the quiet grace of time spent in the company of the dearest of friends is exactly what is needed. Perhaps next year the fervor of a riotous romp, costumed in Faerie wings, will be too enticing to be written off as easily as it was this year. Dianthus and I agreed that we both needed this…time to talk, unwind, and enjoy a bit of Nature in the yard.

So, as the Wheel of The Year turns another cog, Solstice past, we are heading into the dark times now. No sadness comes as a result of this, only the contemplation of being in harmony with it all and the gentle acceptance of each season as it rolls out its own carpet. Be it lush green grass, gold and scarlet fallen leaves or crystalline snow, I will jubilantly dance upon each one.

 

 

Groaning Pains

I prefer to think of myself as complex, or even complicated. Wearing either label sounds so much more glamorous in a bohemian kind of way than to say that I’m ‘difficult’. A Witch like me will sashay on the cat walk of life with it emblazoned on my chest, doing it all with unforgettable style.

The various complexities that complicate things can cause my logic to be mine and mine alone to the point that no one else can ever see things from my vantage point. Apparently, it seems to be so far out in orbit that the Hubble telescope can’t even find it much less home in on it. That being said, when I do what I feel is ‘sharing’ things, it has come to affectionately get referred to as my ‘rants’ by those that I ‘share’ with. Complex women tend to feel better when they are able to verbalize the things in their minds that others might consider to be space debris. Even if it is, it can’t just circumnavigate the universe without crashing and burning at some point in time so talking about it allows for a softer landing. My husband of almost 28 years is my ‘go to’ person when I need to be ‘grounded’. He puts things in perspective for me and most often keeps me from having to gnaw on my Vera Wang platform pumps when my version of things may prompt me to say what I’ll have to apologize for after the fact.

If you have seen the show, “American Horror Story: Coven” and Jessica Lange’s portrayal of “The Supreme” Witch, you might recognize me. That is why I consider myself so fortunate that there are people in my life who, have come to not only expect me to fly off the broom handle from time to time, they might even love me for it. After all, I keep our Coven interesting and when a Coven lasts as long as MoonShadow has…you need interesting.

Covens are families in every sense of the word and unless your blood is the consistency of water, you stand by each other through good times and the smattering of bad. Some members have known me since it all began in my living room in the early 90’s, but some are more recent. They don’t have the advantage of the certainty that, “she’ll get over it”, the way the founding Witches do. When my logic spins that yarn and knits it into a nasty, scratchy sweater, the urge to tear it off and throw it out has got to be irresistible, but they find it within themselves to just smooth it out and wear it anyway.

The odd, but beautiful thing is, that over time it softens and has the ability to become a favorite. It’s familiar, the color is complementary and it gets comfortable. It shows some signs of wear, but the repairs are done so well that no one can see them anymore and no one remembers how the snags got there or cares. The strands that bind us have been pulled tighter and they glow with a well worn shiny patina.

This Coven, this family, is a vital part of my life. If we just bobbed along the surface of nice, we would never know how to go deep and weather the storms. We’ve been tested many times. Relationships that forced us to learn to be more accepting, personal issues that taught us how to be committed to those not related by blood, things that made not helping someone something we never even considered. Then, there is my predictable propensity to misunderstand the perfectly understandable.

All in all, being part of a Coven makes a person grow in ways that other more mainstream groups don’t and can’t. Being on the fringes of what is considered tolerable, yet unacceptable, puts us on thorny common ground. When Witches are not being abhorred as evil we are being dismissed as flakes who personify roles that run the gamut from ridiculous buffoons to demonic. When the bright light of reality is cast our way, it usually categorizes us as tree hugging hippies who aren’t even organized enough to host a sit in. So, being social outcasts tends to help us form an instant bond, but when that bond is allowed to test its limits the real Magick happens.

I am so grateful that I have found my place among people who are capable of loving me since, as I have indicated, is no easy task. But, as I know so very well, the thing that may set a person apart by displaying traits that are diverse in the most unusual way, is the same thing that allows them to sense things that defy the normal senses. Given the choice, ‘weird’ wins every time.

Never surprised, but always amazed is the state that I find myself in most of the time. You’d think that by now the exclamation of, “OH WOW!!!” would not escape my lips as much as it does. The age and the experience thing has taught me that I’ll never be so old that I don’t want to experience even more. Growing beyond myself is something that I am constantly stretching to do. Thunderin’ tap dancin’ Christ, I love life!!! Even when it hurts.

Nothin’ Says Lovin’ Like Being With The Coven

“Enchanted” still pulsates with residual love, even though I just received a message that my Coven family has arrived at their perspective homes. I sigh, relieved to know that they are safe and back with all that is familiar. The familiarity of home always comes with its own measure of comfort no matter how wonderful the journey was that enticed us to leave it. The confined spaces that walls provide take on the characteristics of batteries, accepting the charge of energy and holding it for a time, until it gently dissipates and all that remains are the testimonials of the experiences. Memorials in the form of mementos and gifts exchanged become the placeholders that have the power to make us relive these precious moments.

Cell phones, gadgets and cyber visits on Skype are an improvement over the days of missed calls on landlines and communicating via ‘snail mail’.  A time before answering machines, when it could be days or even weeks before a connection was made because it was all so ‘hit and miss’ if we dared to leave the house. However, there is nothing quite as satisfying as face to face and hand to hand contact. The fresh, warm, home-made cookie feel of hugs and whispered, “I love you’s” cannot be duplicated by anything commercially boxed. This was my existence from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.

Issues that could only be resolved by a measured dose of ‘face time’ had been healed with the kiss of two-lip salve. Words that could not only be heard, but felt because they were spoken with lips that smiled and laughed. Eyes sparkled, got misty, and even rolled a little. Nothing was missed or hidden because it was out of camera range. The bonds that have held us together as a Coven may get stretched, but times such as this find us tugging them tighter and retying the knots until the security of what we have cannot be breached or unraveled.  I needed this. I think we all did.

Our new venture, Hocus Focus Radio, was born this past January after the conception and gestation took place the previous Autumn and was nurtured over the harsh Winter that kept us house bound.  Calls, emails, and the blurred images of ‘video speak’ could replicate what we needed, but was incapable of cloning it. The show is coming along nicely and our commitment to the dream that we all share is strong. The vision is such that it is viewed by one pair of eyes divided among the four of us. This weekend all of that was confirmed and stamped with the sacred seal of validation that I think we all needed to be assured of.

When a connection is so complete that the concept of dissolution cannot even be imagined, the term ‘friendship’ can’t begin to describe it. What took place in my life before it was blessed by the arrival of these gentle and loving beings was satisfying to be sure, but that can be said of a lot of things that never cross the line into something that transcends satiation. A Coven is a Spiritual family. It doesn’t get any deeper than that. The degree of vulnerability that it requires is not for the wary who ride the current of the fear of getting too close.

Their physical presence is absent, but their essence is still here and shall remain. It gives me buoyancy when life attempts to drag me under and reels me in when my visions might allow me to float untethered, aimlessly in space.

Blessed Be… Blessed me.

Recorded Saturday, April 12th http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moonshadow92/2014/04/13/hocus-focus-topic-making-our-community-safe